Clarifying All Day Battery Life for the Apple Watch

Clarifying All Day Battery Life for the Apple Watch

During Apple's press event on March 9, CEO Tim Cook touted al day battery life for the upcoming Apple Watch, but carefully coined "standard use" as the delimiting factor. With smartwatches like the Pebble already providing 5-7 days of use between charges, Apple will have a tough time promoting battery life as one of the Watch's valuable features. For me, as a fitness freak, I'm most interested in whether or not the Watch will die during a long run. Apple had Christy Turlington Burns on stage during the press event who ran a half-marathon wearing the Apple Watch, but a half-marathon is only a couple hour jaunt for most.

But, what exactly does "standard use" mean?

On its web site, Apple has produced some testing statistics and sought to clarify the burning question. Here's a rundown:

All Day Battery Life "Standard Use" is only up to 18 Hours, based on the combination of following actions:

  • 90 time checks
  • 90 notifications
  • 45 minutes of app use
  • 30-minute workout with music playback from Apple Watch via Bluetooth

Talk Time

  • Up to 3 hours when paired with an iPhone

Audio Playback

  • Up to 6.5 hours paired with an iPhone using Bluetooth


  • Up to 7 hours when paired with an iPhone

Used solely as a watch/clock

  • Up to 48 hours with only 5 time checks per hour (4 seconds each)

The Apple Watch also has a Power Reserve mode. When the battery gets extremely low it will switch to Power Reserve. In this mode, the Watch can only be used to see the time and will last up to 72 hours, however, this is only if you check the time 4 times per hour (4 seconds each).

Charging time is a bit suspect, too. The Apple Watch takes 1.5 hours to charge to 80% and 2.5 hours to 100%.

Price alone is going to keep me from buying an Apple Watch, but the battery limitations compound the issues.


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